APEX Encourages Students to Learn About Ag Policy

March 7, 2022

Last week, Minnesota Ag Education Leadership Council (MAELC) and the MN FFA hosted nearly 40 high school students for the Agriculture Policy Experience (APEX). Over two days, FFA students and the FFA State Officer team participated in leadership training, learned about agriculture policy and the legislative process, and met with elected officials.

The program has encouraged students to learn about agriculture policy for more than a decade. The partnership has evolved over the years to become a cap stone style event for students active with FFA, encouraging them to think critically, be strong leaders, and advocate for issues important to agriculture.

Partnerships are foundational to the continued success of APEX. This year, a number of leaders in agriculture policy attended sessions with the students to share information about relevant policy issues, careers opportunities in ag and policy, and background about how they became successful in their field. The students also met with nearly 20 elected officials at the State Capitol.

Speakers included:

  • Michelle Medina, MN Department of Agriculture
  • Allison VanDerWal, MN State Cattleman
  • Amanda Bilek, MN Corn Growers
  • Steve Olson, Steve Olson Consulting
  • Dan Glessing, President, MN Farm Bureau
  • Amber Glaeser, MN Farm Bureau Federation
  • Stu Lourey, MN Farmers Union

The MN AgriGrowth Council also participated in the discussion as students debated workforce and labor policy challenges.

The need for a strong and resilient workforce is critical to MN businesses and AgriGrowth is actively working to create actionable, collaborate ideas that will help build a resilient ag talent pipeline and address workforce issues impacting Minnesota’s diverse agri-food industry. For more information, please register for the upcoming MN Ag Talent and Workforce Roundtable.

If you are interested in learning more about APEX or want to support the program, please contact Sarah Dornink or Val Aarsvold.

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